How to Politely Express Anger in English

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For silly or severe reasons, we get angry with people surrounding us or even at times with ourselves. Whenever we are annoyed with someone for something, we feel like expressing it to them or our close ones. In many cases, we face difficulties communicating our anger in English since it’s our second language.

In this post, I’ll share some adjectives and phrases that can help you describe your anger emotion well. There will be some tips on expressing anger at the end of the post too. Let’s go!

To express anger, you can use adjectives like angry, annoyed, furious, ticked, outraged, fuming, livid, infuriated, enraged, and phrases like pissed off, mad at, drive (one) crazy, losing (one’s) temper, etc. As a general rule, you should mention the specific reason behind your anger while expressing your anger to someone.    

Are you looking for a book or a guide to help you learn and improve your English? You may try English Made Easy Volume One: A New ESL Approach: Learning English Through Pictures (Amazon Link).

When you are angry, a few specific words or phrases can help you be understood quickly, rather than being misunderstood. Remember, the right choice of words can help you express your anger without sounding abusive or aggressive. 

Table of Contents

Below is a list of common expressions that you can use to express anger directly. Later in the post, I’ll share some examples of sentences that can help you indirectly express your anger.

Expressions to Express Anger Directly in English

express anger
Words/Phrases to Express Anger DirectlyExample Sentences
Angry/Angry withI’m angry.
I’m angry with you.
I’m angry with you for what you have done today.
Annoyed/Annoyed withI’m annoyed.
I’m annoyed with them.
I’m annoyed with their activities.
Furious/Furious atI went furious that day.
I’m feeling furious at his behavior.
I’ll be furious at him if he does this again.
Infuriated/Infuriated byI was infuriated.
I’m infuriated by their words.
I’ve never been such infuriated as I’m now.
Outraged/Outraged atI’m utterly outraged now.
I was outraged at him.
I’m outraged at their performance.
Enraged/Enraged atI’m enraged like hell at this moment.
I’m enraged, seeing what he has done to my cellphone.
I was enraged at my cousin for his stupidity.
Mad/Mad atI’m mad.
I’m mad at him.
I was mad at their action.
Ticked/Ticked offI’m ticked because I lost my keys again.
I was ticked off.
I’m ticked, as he is calling me again and again.
Pissing off/Pissed offYou’re pissing me off.
I was pissed off at that time.
I become pissed off when I see your insincerity.
Blow up/Blew up/Blow up atIf you do this again, I’ll blow up.
My teacher blew up at me as I missed the classes.
I blew up at him.
Fuming/Fuming atI’m fuming because he has taken all of my money.
I was fuming at them.
LividI’m livid that she has done it.
I was livid because of their late.
Drive (one) crazyHe’s driving me crazy.
When I go out with him, he drives me crazy.
The boys are going to drive me crazy.
Lose (one’s) temperI lost my temper in the last meeting.
I can’t refrain from losing my temper when you do it.
This table shows a list of expressions with example sentences used to express anger directly

Expressions to Express Anger Indirectly in English

express anger

In many cases, you don’t directly tell someone you are angry with them. You somehow manage to let them know that you are angry. Here are some examples that you can check to learn to express your anger indirectly, depending on different situations.

Words/Phrases to Express Anger IndirectlyExample Sentences
Out of (one’s) mind
[When someone has done something foolish]
Are you out of your mind?
Over my dead body
[To warn someone about not crossing the line]
You want to demolish our house — fine — over my dead body! 
Don’t do me any favors
[To avoid someone irritable or creepy, or to refuse someone’s help]
I can find my way in this city without your help. Don’t do me any favors!
Who do you think you are
[When someone is interfering or trespassing on your personal matters]
Who do you think you are barging into my property and asking me to leave?
Utter nonsense
[To express disgust or annoyance at someone’s activity or talk]
You’re talking utter nonsense. Do you realize that?
Get lost 
[When someone is too tough to deal with]
Get lost and don’t show me your face again! 
Put that off
[To tell someone to move or shut off something annoying]
Put that off at this instant!
Get out 
[When someone is too tough to deal with]
Get out of my sight!
What on earth
[To express astonishment and anger simultaneously]
What on earth made you do this? 
For God’s sake
[When your patience reaches its limit]
Leave me alone, for God’s sake! 
How dare are you
[When you’re mad at someone’s nosy nature]
How dare you ask me about my personal affairs?
Mind your own business
[To tell someone not to interfere too much]
You better mind your own business.
Don’t you dare
[To warn someone not to cross their limit]
Don’t you dare abuse my family!
Don’t give excuses
[To show annoyance at someone’s negligence]
Don’t give me these lousy excuses every single time! 
Behave, or else
[To warn someone about their attitude or behavior]
Behave, or I’ll have to call your parents tomorrow! 
How many times
[To express irritation and anger]
How many times will I have to ask you to shut the door on your way out? 
Don’t make me
[To make someone aware of not repeating a mistake]
Don’t make me ask you twice.
This table shows a list of expressions with example sentences used to express anger indirectly

Tips on Expressing Anger in English

You already have learned a few common English expressions to communicate your anger. When we lose our temper, we often become abusive, and we can’t choose the right words depending on the situation: formal or informal. In this part, I’ll give tips to help you express your anger well.

Tip 1. Know the Differences between Extreme and Moderate Anger Expressions

You must know the contrast between moderate and abusive anger expressions. No matter how angry you are, you should not use abusive expressions. Here is a table that compares decent and abusive expressions through examples. 

SituationsExtreme Anger Expressions (Abusive)Moderate Anger Expressions (Not Abusive)
When someone or something is uselessYou’re a piece of shit.You’re worthless.
To someone annoyingThat shopkeeper is a real wanker.That shopkeeper is very irritating. 
To someone who’s not intelligentYou’re such a dork! You’re a stupid/ You’re an idiot.  
To someone who’s done something dishonestI wish to see that scumbag behind bars. I wish that fraud would serve in jail. 
To someone who’s done or said something stupidDamn you, moron! You’re stupid. 
To express annoyance or frustration for a lossOh, bugger! I missed my train just by seconds! Oh, no! I missed my train just by seconds! 
To someone who’s done something terribly wrongBloody moron! Your last week’s report was rubbish! Hey! Your last week’s report was nonsense!
To someone whose word(s) or action(s) have made you furiousI’m going to make you pay for this.You’re going to regret this. 
To someone whose behavior or action has enraged your mindI was pissed off by your behavior the other day. I was angered by your behavior the other day. 
To address someone elder who might’ve pushed you unknowingly while passing by Whoa! Watch your way, you old lunatic! Could you be careful, sir?/ Mind your way, please! 
This table shows a comparison between extreme anger expressions and moderate anger expressions with example sentences

Tip 2. Be Careful about the Use of Prepositions

To express anger, some so many idioms and phrases take prepositions. While using such phrases, you must be careful since using the wrong prepositions can utterly change the phrase’s meaning.

Expressing anger using correct English is as important as expressing any other emotions. For example, when you express your regret to someone, you want them to understand what you are regretting for. It’s only possible when you speak correct English; otherwise, misunderstandings can occur.

Tip 3. Consider the Setting: Formal or informal

While expressing anger, you must consider the setting/context you are in. Considering the setting, you should deliver your words wisely. 

Let’s say you’re at the movies, moderating a conference at the office, or sitting as an audience to a literary lecture. Something bothered you — maybe too many ads are showing on screen before the movie has started — maybe the conference room’s light went out suddenly — an audience beside you is frequently clearing this throat, which is annoying… And you’re seething with rage.

No matter how livid (too much angry) you’re at the moment, do yourself a favor— pause a moment, think twice, and then deliver your words instead of bursting out like— 

Someone just start the goddamn movie!

or

Why the hell is the light out!

or

Will you shut it!

What you can normally say in such situations are—

Could you please start the movie now? It’s been a while. 

or

Could someone check the light, please? The meeting is urgent. 

or

Can I ask you to stop that throat noise, please? It’s disturbing my hearing. 

You should not go out of your control and behave unwisely. You can express your anger casually with your friends but not with your boss or someone you have just met.

Tip 4. Try to Soften Your Words and Tone as Much as Possible

It’s natural to lose one’s temper but not okay to offend someone with harsh words and phrases. You must practice using softer words in your sentence to express anger. How does softening your offensive words help you when you have a heated argument with someone?

Using softer words and phrases for expressing anger makes you respectful to others. You can surely express your anger while keeping your image decent. Let’s see how we can communicate the same anger with different expressions.

Look at the below examples:

  1. Don’t piss me off or I’ll bite your head off! [To warn someone who’s irritating you frequently]
  2. I’ll count to three before I start beating you up. (To threaten a child to calm down)
  3. Outta my way, you dork! (To shout at a fellow driver on the road who’s blocking your path) 

Now, let’s see what happens when you soften your words to handle or communicate in the same situations:

  1. I’ll ask you for the last time to stop nagging/bothering/irritating me. 
  2. Momma/Dad’s asking you come here and sit quietly. 
  3. Hey, could you pull aside — You’re blocking my way! 

See how differently yet politely you could handle such situations! You’re letting others know your problem while asking them what to do.

10 Interesting Idioms to Express Anger in English

Idioms and phrases are a smart way to express anger. Using this art of language to express anger will project you as a well-informed ESL speaker. However, don’t overuse them, or it might make you sound too cliche. Let’s see ten popular idioms and phrases to express anger in English:

  1. She jumped down my throat upon knowing I left my job. (Yelling at someone out of anger)
  2. His nonresponsiveness ticked the teacher off. (Annoying someone with action or behavior)
  3. The manager hit the roof upon knowing about the missing file. (Reaching the limit of rage)
  4. I’ll skin him alive if he doesn’t find my cat by tonight. (Warning someone of punishment out of anger)
  5. The customer went ballistic, discovering a torn shirt inside her delivery package. (Losing temper)
  6. The physics teacher always flies off the handle whenever he comes across a mistake in an assignment. (Getting furious out of nowhere) 
  7. I’m telling you, it’s the last straw! My dad won’t tolerate another F in my school exams. (Declaring the limit of annoyance or frustration and the consequence of it)
  8. The boss was seeing red for not receiving the prototype model yet. (Losing words or vision being infuriated)
  9. Asking the same question repetitively makes his blood boil. (Making someone frustrated or angry)
  10. My cats are driving me bananas with their cries and mischief. (Causing to become mad or furious)

A Sample Conversation on Expressing Anger in English

Rowan: Danny, it’s the fifth time in a row this week I’ve bumped into your bike. How many times do I have to tell you not to park your goddamn bike in my space?

Danny: What do you mean by “your space?” I came here first and found it vacant. 

Rowan: You came just two minutes before I did! 

Danny: Whatever! No one’s stopping you from parking your wheels somewhere else – the parking lot is huge! 

Rowan: I don’t believe this! I’m going nuts because of your preposterous behavior. There’s a limit to everything. 

Danny: Oh, yeah! You’re the one who’s driving me crazy with your immature behavior every other day… all because of that silly parking space! 

Rowan: Aghrrrh! You know what… you’re never gonna admit your mistake. So, let’s drop this. 

Danny: Wait…what? MY MISTAKE! Yeah, right. When will YOU learn to get over yourself and apologize for your arrogance? 

Rowan: What on earthare you outta your mind? 

Danny: Huh! It’s you who need to hold yourself together, Rowan! Not me. 

Rowan:you’re such a moron!

Danny: … sorry to disappoint you, you lunatic! 

Takeaway Words

Bump (verb) = to hit something or someone accidentally while moving in a direction

Wheels (noun) = an expression or informal way to say “car”

Preposterous (adjective) = someone who’s acting absolutely foolish 

Arrogance (noun) = a not-so-tolerant characteristic consisting of egotism or pride 

Moron (noun) = a stupid or foolish person

Lunatic (noun) = someone who’s acting weird or unreasonably

In Conclusion

Anger is one of the obvious emotions of human beings. We need to communicate our emotions to others to let them know our problems and discomfort. I hope you can now express your anger smartly, understanding the contexts. 

It’s natural to get outraged when things don’t go your way, or things are constantly getting out of hand. Yet, try to avoid insensitive, abusive, or harsh words to people in such situations. Communicating your anger as softly or soothingly as possible can help you keep things under control.

Thank you!

1. Why is it important to express anger politely in English?

Expressing anger politely allows for constructive communication, prevents unnecessary conflicts, and maintains healthy relationships.

2. What are common phrases to express anger without being rude?

Phrases like “I’m a bit frustrated because…”, “I feel concerned about…”, or “It upsets me when…” allow for a polite expression of anger.

3. How can tone influence the way I express anger?

A calm and controlled tone can convey your feelings without escalating the situation or making the other person defensive.

4. Can body language convey anger without being aggressive?

Yes. Maintaining steady eye contact, using controlled gestures, and adopting a firm posture can express displeasure without being confrontational.

5. How can I ensure my concerns are heard when expressing anger?

Be clear about the specific issue, use “I” statements to express your feelings, and actively listen to the other person’s response.

6. What should I avoid when expressing anger?

Avoid personal attacks, raising your voice, or using absolute terms like “always” or “never.”

7. How can I handle situations where the other person reacts negatively to my expression of anger?

Stay calm, reiterate your feelings without blame, and suggest taking a break or revisiting the conversation later.

8. Are there cultural nuances in expressing anger?

Definitely. In some cultures, direct expression of anger might be discouraged, while in others, it might be more accepted. It’s essential to be aware of cultural norms.

9. How can I teach children to express anger politely?

By modeling calm responses, discussing feelings, and practicing problem-solving techniques, children can learn to communicate their anger constructively.

10. Is it okay to express anger in written communication, like emails or texts?

While it’s possible, written communication lacks tone and body language, making it easy to misinterpret. If expressing anger in writing, be clear, avoid harsh language, and consider discussing sensitive matters in person or over a call.

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 8 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

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